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SiriusXM and Pandora Launch Artist Development Program, Select Coco Jones as Inaugural Act

The accelerator program will spotlight six to 12 artists over the next year via focused programming on SiriusXM and Pandora stations and playlists.

SiriusXM has launched a new program aimed at developing and breaking emerging artists, the company tells Billboard.

Created by the SiriusXM and Pandora programming and curation teams, the Artist Accelerator program will select six to 12 artists across a wide range of genres over the next year. All of them will receive focused programming for a sustained campaign across SiriusXM channels and Pandora stations, as well as ongoing marketing support from both brands.

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The program’s inaugural artist is Def Jam/High Standardz signee Coco Jones, whose latest single “I.C.U.”, from her debut EP What I Didn’t Tell You, has been playing in accelerated rotation on SiriusXM’s The Heat and Heart & Soul stations since Oct. 21. On Pandora, “I.C.U.” has been added to various playlists and radio stations across the platform, including New R&B, Black Music Forever, Adult R&B, PLATINUM, Today’s R&B and Hip Hop Hits, Women in R&B and more. The streaming service is also featuring exclusive audio content from Jones via “artist takeover” modes currently running on the PLATINUM and Women in R&B stations, where she takes listeners through the process of recording the EP and hand-picks tracks from some of the artists who inspired her.

“Introducing our audiences to new artists and investing in those artists’ development is a core value of both SiriusXM and Pandora and we are excited to unveil our Artist Accelerator program to the industry,” said Steve Blatter, senior vp/general manager of music programming at SiriusXM. “The program brings together SiriusXM and Pandora to accelerate the growth of artists across our combined massive listener base.”

In addition to her burgeoning music career, Jones has been working as an actor in TV and film since she was a tween. The 24-year-old currently portrays Hilary Banks on Peacock’s Fresh Prince reboot, Bel-Air. On TikTok, where she boasts nearly 2 million followers, she is dedicated to upping representation for dark-skinned Black women.

“I genuinely could not be more excited to be partnered with SiriusXM and Pandora,said Jones. “The way that they’ve supported me and found new ways to highlight my future while acknowledging my past, is iconic. There’s definitely more to come, this is just the beginning! I’m excited for y’all to come with me through the whole journey!”

SiriusXM is just the latest platform to introduce an artist development program. In 2017, Apple Music launched the artist spotlight program Up Next, while SoundCloud introduced First on SoundCloud the following year. And in 2021, Spotify launched Fresh Finds, an extension of the playlist hub of the same name that provides emerging acts with on- and off-platform support.